Talk to Your Doctor About Mental Health

August 16 2019

Patient speaking to personal physician

We know to go to the doctor when we’re sick to get our bodies healthy again, and we go when we’re well to keep an eye on our overall health. Yet we often overlook the role our mental health plays in feeling whole. At AdventHealth, we believe overall health includes not only the body, but the mind and spirit. Many people forget the role the mind, also known as mental health, plays in feeling whole.

With one in every five adults experiencing a mental illness each year, it is important to understand your primary care physician is often the best place to turn for help. While you may find it hard to reach out for help when you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed, anxious or depressed, Disney Cast Members and Employees' trusted primary care physicians can help you understand your mental health and get you the support you need.

If you’re struggling with mental illness, talk to your doctor today and get on the path to wellness.

Make a Plan

Planning can help ease the process of bringing up mental health. Writing down what you are feeling before you call and schedule your appointment can make the conversation easier.

Decide the date and time you’ll call the office. Put it in your calendar. When that time comes, pick up the phone or request an appointment online. You can discuss your feeling during your wellness visit or at a separate visit – any time you may be having concerns.

Practice Makes Perfect

Despite the growing awareness around the importance of mental health, unfortunately there’s sometimes still a stigma attached to the topic — even when talking to our own doctors. Practice having the conversation with a trusted family member or friend. Share the feelings and symptoms you’ve been experiencing and be upfront about seeking help. 

Chances are your loved one will support you on your journey and may even share their own mental health struggles or experiences. That practice can help make it a little easier to open up when you do meet with your doctor. 

Prepare for the Appointment

If you’re still feeling nervous about your appointment, write down a few notes about what you want to share. Jot down recurring symptoms, when they occur and how long they last. Think about questions you want to ask your doctor and any treatment goals you may have. 

Goals may include types of treatment you want to try (therapy, medication or another approach) or milestones you want to achieve — fewer panic attacks or the ability to deal with stress, for example. 

Know Your Strength

Many people feel like it’s a weakness or failure to ask for help when facing a mental illness. But the truth is, recognizing you’re suffering from a medical condition that can be treated and seeking the support you need to be the healthiest version of you shows real strength.

Your primary care physician will always be there for you at every step of your health journey. Listening, supporting and guiding you to the treatment you need — whether it’s for diabetes, high blood pressure, a temporary illness, anxiety, depression or another mental illness. And, your personal physician will offer those resources with compassionate care that’s focused on improving your physical, mental and spiritual health.

If you don't have a personal physician yet, contact the Member Experience Center at 855-747-7476 to connect you to one!